Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are to stage a more strikes next week over the long running dispute over pay, conditions and jobs.
The RMT union chief Mick Lynch has called for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to help to resolve the ongoing dispute.
Lynch wrote, “There is no reason why this dispute could not be settled in the same way that RMT has resolved disputes in Scotland and Wales.
“Where the Scottish and Welsh governments have had responsibility for mandates, pay settlements for 2022 have been agreed and neither of these settlements have been conditional on cutting staffing, and eroding safety, security and accessibility.
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“It is already a national scandal that your government has been paying the train operating companies not to settle the dispute, indemnifying them to the tune of £300 million so that they have no incentive to reach a resolution.
“It’s not clear to me why, on top of this, your government has now torpedoed the negotiations, but I now believe that a meeting with yourself represents the best prospect of any renewed progress.
“We have a duty to explore every possible option for settling this dispute and I’m willing to do my part. I hope you will agree to meet me.”
A Government spokesperson said, “It’s incredibly disappointing that, despite a new and improved deal offering job security and a fair pay rise, the RMT continues to hold Christmas hostage with more damaging strikes.
“The Government has played its part by facilitating a fair and decent offer and the RMT and its members should vote this deal through and end this harmful disruption.”